Scottish Gaelic: Glaschu
Glasgow is the largest city and located in the west central part of Scotland, along the banks of the River Clyde.
Glasgow | 0 to 700 AD
In the first century AD, the area around modern-day Glasgow was part of the territory of the Celtic tribe known as Damnonii. The Romans established the Antonine Wall, a defensive fortification, which passed through the region during the second century AD. The wall marked the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire in Britain for a time.
With the decline of Roman influence, the early medieval period saw the spread of Christianity throughout Scotland. It’s believed that Saint Kentigern (also known as Saint Mungo) played a significant role in the early Christianization of the area around Glasgow. He is often associated with the founding of a church that later became Glasgow Cathedral. By the sixth century, a settlement had begun to develop around the area where Glasgow Cathedral stands today. The site’s proximity to the River Clyde and its strategic location for trade and communication contributed to its growth.
During the medieval period, the area around Glasgow was part of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, a distinct kingdom in southwestern Scotland. The capital then was Dumbarton, situated 24 km downstream. The kingdom played a role in the complex political landscape of early medieval Scotland, often interacting with neighboring kingdoms and cultures.
The growth of Glasgow’s religious institutions, including the church established by St. Kentigern, contributed to the city’s cultural and spiritual significance. Monastic communities and centers of learning played a crucial role in the development of the regions.
Viking raids and settlements
During the eighth to tenth centuries, Vikings conducted raids along the coasts and rivers of the British Isles, including areas of present-day Scotland. The Norsemen often targeted monasteries, towns, and settlements for their wealth and resources. The Vikings established settlements in various parts of Scotland, including the Northern and Western Isles, and their influence extended to areas like the Hebrides and Orkney Islands.
Strathclyde, the region encompassing Glasgow, was not immune to Viking raids. The Vikings targeted coastal areas and river valleys, including parts of River Clyde. Vikings would have been attracted to the area’s strategic location and potential for plunder and trade. The historical records from this period are often sparse, making it difficult to provide specific details about individual raids.